Recovering Judge-aholic

Hi. I'm Mike, and I'm a recovering judge-aholic.

Sometimes I just can't help myself. I see people doing and saying things I consider to be selfish or evil or just stupid, and I find myself pointing an invisible finger at them and saying to myself, "God, thank you that I'm not like them." I can control my anger in public. I can keep my mouth from uttering profanity. I can remain faithful in my marriage. "I don't drink and I don't chew and I don't go with girls that do." So there.

It can be easy to fall into the trap of seeing the world--of seeing other people--through my own "rightness lens." It's one thing to believe an action is wrong and people should avoid it. Abusing a child is wrong, every single time. It's another thing to begin to see an abuser as less than human, unworthy of forgiveness, and beyond transformation.

And then there is this inconvenient truth: Jesus told His followers not to judge. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Matthew 7:1-2 NIV)

As people who have received mercy, Jesus calls us to be people who give mercy to others. Jesus is the friend of sinners. Jesus died for us sinners while we were still sinners--still in open rebellion against God. Casting Crowns captured it well:

Oh Jesus, Friend of sinners,

Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers.

Let our hearts be led by mercy.

Help us reach with open hearts and open doors

Oh Jesus, Friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yours.

Let our hearts be led by mercy.

That doesn't mean giving up truth. That doesn't mean believing wrong things are right or morality doesn't matter. It means speaking the truth in love. It means living with compassion. It means walking a mile in the other person's shoes before writing them off as evil and beyond hope. It means caring about broken people for whom Christ died .

Oh Jesus, Friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yours.

Transform my mind and heart to think and feel with your compassion. You have given me great mercy. Help me to be merciful. Help me to represent you well to broken, hurting people. Help me to feel the compassion you feel for flawed people who are often dealing with hurts and hangups that are not visible, and are often doing the best they can. Help me to live out the mercy I have been given.

Break my heart for what breaks yours. And help me live like it.

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